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Oct . 30, 2011 - Brother Protection offers a blog post

at the end of his participation October 30, 2011

Yesterday evening I exited the Wake Up Tour. It feels like taking the exit after cruising on the freeway for miles and miles, happy to slow down, happy to be close to my destination. But during the tour I felt very at home: great people around me: brothers and sisters, lay friends on the tour, old and new friends that hosted us, in addition to all the young open and enthusiastic people that come to the events. I am very happy to cruise on the freeway and I am also happy to take the exit. Now I am reflecting on the experience, receiving the nourishment of the peaks as well as looking deeply at the most challenging situations during two intense weeks on the road. To tell you the truth it feels like a lifetime. So when does the tour really start and does it end? It continues for sure with my brothers, sisters and friends for another ten days. Returning to my home monastery Deer Park it continues for us as well, coming up is a Education & Meditation Weekend normally attended by around 200 students and educators. But in more indirect ways we cannot say that it ends. I am not the same person as before this adventure started. A couple of days two sisters asked if I would miss them and the rest of our traveling Sangha. Being a zen monk I smiled and said I am happy that you are here now. Looking deeply into this question during the last couple of days, I touched an underlying sadness/grief of coming close to a separation. Looking around the circle when we were all together I was happy to recognize that I appreciate, like and love everyone in the circle, so off course I miss you guys. But I also feel that you are right here with me writing these words, where else could they come from. During the Wake Up Tour we had nick-names and I was the “Time Bender”. During one of our meetings in Boston we discussed our flash-mob meditation – sitting is peace, and our involvement in Occupy Boston for a over an hour. I felt like the discussions took longer then the events themselves would. But suddenly I realized that we were about to touch the lives of hundreds of people that afternoon in downtown Boston – that's a lot of collective time right there, time can be warped, is not linear. It can be experienced in so many ways, it expands and contracts. During this tour I am well aware of situations where my experience of time has contracted. Mostly it has a connection to the experience of space. When someone approach me urgently, especially if I am in the middle of processing/acting something else, and not to mention if I am confined to a small physical space, I feel rushed and I feel like there is no time or space to take in or process/act on what is coming up. But time has also expanded when a situation occurs and there is a lot of time (and space) to relate to the situation. One day I was driving around Harvard square, letting two brothers of to run an errand, two siblings in the back seats working on a pamphlet, making a loop around the block before picking up the brothers again, cell phone rings, a message to receive and then a fire truck came blasting from behind sires full on. In that moment time and space expanded and I experienced myself finishing the phone call, maneuvering through the intersection offering space to the fire truck, well aware of siblings in the back of the van. Moments of heightened attention, clear and easy, opened up a hidden pocket of time and space, offering the opportunity to deal with a real life situations in a calm, capable and present manner. The life of a practitioner is awesome! The expansion of time has everything to do with my capacity to be with the situation as it is, not adding my story or my like or dislikes to it. When I am free from the taint of old experiences, the full potential of life is available, all in the expansive, dynamic present moment. Once we actually came to the flash mob meditation – sitting is peace, I sat the 30 minutes. I could describe it as a flash or a time of lifetimes. One moment, not to mention half an hour in our life can change the whole trajectory of our life, how much time is that when you're around a couple of hundred people! It seems that in what ever group/Sangha I find myself there are always the more loose/easygoing members and the more composed/determined members. From time to time I see myself in along the scale of these two mutual supportive poles. Nothing to hold on to, nothing to regret, surfing the waves of life – so cool and you don't even need a board! How can I express what this tour has meant to me? Very eager to learn what it has meant to you! So if you want to be kind to me, please do not approach me when I am bending over or squatting in the process to get something, it still becomes very stressful for me. If you want my input on something, please take a breath and leave some space as you share, because I will not pry myself into a constant flow of words. But time has also expanded when a situation occurs and there is a lot of time (and space) to relate to the situation. One day I was driving around Harvard square, letting two brothers of to run an errand, two siblings in the back seats working on a pamphlet, making a loop around the block before picking up the brothers again, cell phone rings, a message to receive and then a fire truck came blasting from behind sires full on. In that moment time and space expanded and I experienced myself finishing the phone call, maneuvering through the intersection offering space to the fire truck, well aware of siblings in the back of the van. Moments of heightened attention, clear and easy, opened up a hidden pocket of time and space, offering the opportunity to deal with a real life situations in a calm, capable and present manner. The life of a practitioner is awesome! The expansion of time has everything to do with my capacity to be with the situation as it is, not adding my story or my like or dislikes to it. When I am free from the taint of old experiences, the full potential of life is available, all in the expansive, dynamic present moment. Once we actually came to the flash mob meditation – sitting is peace, I sat the 30 minutes. I could describe it as a flash or a time of lifetimes. One moment, not to mention half an hour in our life can change the whole trajectory of our life, how much time is that when you're around a couple of hundred people! It seems that in what ever group/Sangha I find myself there are always the more loose/easygoing members and the more composed/determined members. From time to time I see myself in along the scale of these two mutual supportive poles. Nothing to hold on to, nothing to regret, surfing the waves of life – so cool and you don't even need a board! How can I express what this tour has ment to me? Very eager to learn what it has ment to you! The Wake Up Touring of the US will continue in the spring of 2012 this time on the West Coast, starting in San Diego going north.

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